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Apparatus and method for managing media content

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US20100083115A1
US20100083115A1 US12407367 US40736709A US2010083115A1 US 20100083115 A1 US20100083115 A1 US 20100083115A1 US 12407367 US12407367 US 12407367 US 40736709 A US40736709 A US 40736709A US 2010083115 A1 US2010083115 A1 US 2010083115A1
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image
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selected
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US8799782B2 (en )
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Dae Suk PARK
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LG Electronics Inc
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LG Electronics Inc
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/048Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI]
    • G06F3/0481Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] based on specific properties of the displayed interaction object or a metaphor-based environment, e.g. interaction with desktop elements like windows or icons, or assisted by a cursor's changing behaviour or appearance
    • G06F3/0482Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] based on specific properties of the displayed interaction object or a metaphor-based environment, e.g. interaction with desktop elements like windows or icons, or assisted by a cursor's changing behaviour or appearance interaction with lists of selectable items, e.g. menus
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/048Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI]
    • G06F3/0484Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] for the control of specific functions or operations, e.g. selecting or manipulating an object or an image, setting a parameter value or selecting a range
    • G06F3/04842Selection of a displayed object
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/431Generation of visual interfaces for content selection or interaction; Content or additional data rendering
    • H04N21/4312Generation of visual interfaces for content selection or interaction; Content or additional data rendering involving specific graphical features, e.g. screen layout, special fonts or colors, blinking icons, highlights or animations
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/431Generation of visual interfaces for content selection or interaction; Content or additional data rendering
    • H04N21/4312Generation of visual interfaces for content selection or interaction; Content or additional data rendering involving specific graphical features, e.g. screen layout, special fonts or colors, blinking icons, highlights or animations
    • H04N21/4314Generation of visual interfaces for content selection or interaction; Content or additional data rendering involving specific graphical features, e.g. screen layout, special fonts or colors, blinking icons, highlights or animations for fitting data in a restricted space on the screen, e.g. EPG data in a rectangular grid
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/433Content storage operation, e.g. storage operation in response to a pause request, caching operations
    • H04N21/4334Recording operations
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/482End-user interface for program selection
    • H04N21/4828End-user interface for program selection for searching program descriptors
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/80Generation or processing of content or additional data by content creator independently of the distribution process; Content per se
    • H04N21/81Monomedia components thereof
    • H04N21/8146Monomedia components thereof involving graphical data, e.g. 3D object, 2D graphics
    • H04N21/8153Monomedia components thereof involving graphical data, e.g. 3D object, 2D graphics comprising still images, e.g. texture, background image

Abstract

A method for managing media content includes storing a program received from a tuner in a storage device, outputting a plurality of first thumbnail images from the program to a display screen, extracting one or more second thumbnail images in a section of the program between a selected first thumbnail image and another first thumbnail image, and outputting the second thumbnail images to the display screen.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to Korean Patent Application No. 10-2008-0096080 filed on Sep. 30, 2008 in Korea, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    1. Field
  • [0003]
    One or more embodiments described herein relate to managing media.
  • [0004]
    2. Background
  • [0005]
    Broadcast receivers which record and store programs have become popular. Receivers that store large numbers of programs are equipped with a search function. In some receivers, the search function is implemented using a progress bar that provides an indication of a progressive status of the programs. In these or other receivers, a time-shift function may also be used to assist users in searching for stored programs. However, related-art techniques for searching programs have proven inadequate.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • [0006]
    FIG. 1 is a diagram showing one embodiment of a method for controlling the operation of a media receiver.
  • [0007]
    FIG. 2 is a diagram showing an example of how a first thumbnail image may be extracted and displayed in accordance with one or more embodiments.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 3 is a diagram showing how first and second thumbnail images may be extracted in accordance with one or more embodiments.
  • [0009]
    FIG. 4 is a diagram showing an example of how second thumbnail images may be rolled and stored according to one or more embodiments.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 5 is a diagram showing an example of how a second thumbnail image may be output by switching a first thumbnail image to the second thumbnail image according to one or more embodiments.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 6 is a diagram showing one embodiment of a receiver capable of implementing the embodiments of the methods shown in FIGS. 1-5.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of a method for controlling the operation of a receiver that stores media content including but not limited to programs obtained from a media transmission source. In one application, the programs are broadcast programs received by a tuner included within or coupled to the receiver. In another application, the programs may be obtained from a cable or satellite source. For the sake of discussion, the media content will generally be referred to as a program with the understanding that all types of programs are being referred to.
  • [0013]
    In an initial step, a program is received by the tuner and stored in a predetermined storage device located within or coupled to the receiver (S101). The receiver may store the program in the storage device in a delayed manner based on a prescribed period of time and in response to a time-shift command. The storage device may be an internal or external hard-disk drive (HDD) or any other device capable of storing programs and other types of data.
  • [0014]
    In a second step, the receiver sequentially extracts one or more first thumbnail images from the program and outputs the extracted first thumbnail images to a display screen of a panel (S102). The receiver may perform this function by reading the program from the storage device and then generating the first thumbnail images by extracting images from the program based on a prescribed time interval.
  • [0015]
    Alternatively, the first thumbnail images may be extracted as the program is being received by the tuner, i.e., as the program is received and first stored in the storage device. The first thumbnail images may be generated in various sizes according to a particular application or preference of the receiver manufacturer or user.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2 shows an example of how a first thumbnail image may be extracted and output for viewing. As mentioned, the receiver may extract one or more first thumbnail images from a program based on a prescribed time interval and then output the extracted images together with a progress bar.
  • [0017]
    According to one application, a user may select one of a plurality of first thumbnail images 201 using an input device and the receiver will output the selected image 202 in an enlarged format. In performing this operation, the receiver may obtain information indicating a time at which the user-selected first thumbnail image was extracted in one or more sections of the program. The selected image will then be output by shifting a progressive position of the progressive bar to the time at which the first thumbnail image was extracted.
  • [0018]
    Returning to FIG. 1, when one of the first thumbnail images is selected by the user (S103), the receiver will perform an operation that includes extracting one or more second thumbnail images in a section between the selected first thumbnail image and another first thumbnail image. The other first thumbnail image may be one next to or adjacent the selected first thumbnail image or may be another one of the first thumbnail images. The extracted second thumbnail images will then be output for displayed (S104).
  • [0019]
    FIG. 3 shows one way in which one or more first thumbnail images may be extracted and then how one or more second thumbnail images may be extracted according to the aforementioned method. The receiver may extract a set of first thumbnail images 301 based on a common interval T1 in whole or different sections of the program stored in the storage device.
  • [0020]
    When a user selects one of the first thumbnail images, the receiver extracts one or more second thumbnail images 302 in a section located between the selected first thumbnail image and a succeeding or preceding first thumbnail image. In one application, the receiver may extract a predetermined number of second thumbnail images located between the selected first thumbnail image and the first thumbnail image next to (or adjacent) the selected first thumbnail image. For example, if the user selects first thumbnail image #1, the receiver may extract second thumbnail images 1′, 2′, 3′ and 4′ between the first thumbnail #1 and first thumbnail #2. The second thumbnail images may be spaced by a common internal T2.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 4 shows an example of how the extracted second thumbnail images may be output for display. In this example, the extracted second thumbnail images are output in a rolling format. That is, the receiver may output the extracted second thumbnail images 1′, 2′, 3′ and 4′ in FIG. 3 by rolling them in a format shown by dotted circle 401.
  • [0022]
    The rolling arrangement of second thumbnail images may include direction arrows, keys, cursors or other graphics that allow a user to control the presentation the second images. A user, for example, may select a direction key with a user input device to cause the position or orientation of the second thumbnail images to be changed in correspondence with the selected direction key.
  • [0023]
    Optionally, the receiver may output the second thumbnail images by switching the order of the second thumbnail images, by a fade-out scheme, or by overlapping the second thumbnail images. The receiver may also output the second thumbnail images to a separate user interface.
  • [0024]
    According to another option, the receiver may output the user-selected first thumbnail images by switching one or more of the user-selected first thumbnail image to one or more of the second thumbnail images, by switching one or more of the user-selected first thumbnail images using a fade-out scheme, or by switching an overlapping arrangement of the user-selected first thumbnail images.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 5 shows an example of how a second thumbnail image may be output for display by a scheme that involves switching a first thumbnail image to the second thumbnail image. According to this scheme, the receiver may sequentially switch a user-selected first thumbnail image 501, from a plurality of first thumbnail images, to the extracted second thumbnail images respectively. For instance, the receiver is able to sequentially switch to or replace the first thumbnail image 501 with second thumbnail images 1′ (502), 2′ (503), 3′ (504) and 4′ (505) respectively.
  • [0026]
    The second thumbnail images may be displayed in the same location or window as the selected first image or may be displayed below the selected first image. Furthermore, the second thumbnail images may be automatically displayed at this location sequentially or the images may be switched in response to, for example, a user signal. Moreover, the second thumbnail images may be rotated into the position corresponding to the selected first thumbnail image.
  • [0027]
    According to one embodiment, the receiver may provide a number indicating the sequence used to extract the second thumbnail images. The second thumbnail images may then be output with information representing the extraction sequence on corresponding ones of the second thumbnail image. For instance, second thumbnail images 1′, 2′, 3′ and 4′ may output with sequence numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively, located thereon or relative thereto.
  • [0028]
    According to another embodiment, the receiver may output each second thumbnail image with time-shift time information thereon or relative thereto. One example of the type of time-shift information that may be included with the second thumbnail images is shown in FIG. 2, which in this case shows such information in relation to a highlighted first thumbnail image. According to another example, each of the second thumbnail images 1′, 2′, 3′ and 4′ may be output with information indicating a time-shifted time from an original time (e.g., an original broadcast time); that is, 00:10, 00:20, 00:30 and 00:40 may be represented.
  • [0029]
    According to another embodiment, the second thumbnail images may be output with time information (e.g., broadcast time information) on the images or at positions relative to those images. For instance, second thumbnail images 1′, 2′, 3′ and 4′ may be output with original broadcast time information 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 and 13:00.
  • [0030]
    According to another embodiment, when a user selects a second thumbnail image, the receiver may play and output a section of the program corresponding to the selected second thumbnail image.
  • [0031]
    One or more of the foregoing embodiments therefore extract and output for display a second thumbnail image located between two first thumbnail images. Through this process, the user can determine what kind of content exists between a selected first thumbnail image and another thumbnail image. This, in turn, provides for an improved way of searching for content of one or more programs stored for a receiver.
  • [0032]
    Moreover, the first thumbnail images may be extracted from a program with a predetermined time interval, thereby enhancing user's convenience. To further enhance the user's convenience, one or more second thumbnail images between the selected first thumbnail image and another first thumbnail image may be displayed in various ways. This will enable a user to more effectively understand the content of a recorded program during, for example, a search operation.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 6 shows one type of a receiver that may be used to implement the methods previously described. This receiver includes a storage device 601, a control module 602, and an output module 603. The storage device may be an EEPROM, hard disk drive (HDD), flash memory or any other device capable of storing data.
  • [0034]
    The storage device stores programs received by tuner 605.
  • [0035]
    The control module 602 sequentially extracts first thumbnail images from a program and then outputs the extracted first thumbnail images to a display screen, e.g., monitor, panel, or television 604. If one of the first thumbnail images is selected, the control module extracts one or more second thumbnail images in a section between the selected first thumbnail image and another first thumbnail image (e.g., a first image next to the selected first image) from the stored program.
  • [0036]
    The output module 603 outputs one or more of the second thumbnail images for display. The output module may also switch the order of the second thumbnail images for or when displayed, switch the second thumbnail images based on a fade-out scheme, or switch the second thumbnail images using an overlapping scheme. Optionally, the output module may switch the selected first thumbnail image to one or more of the second thumbnail images based on order, a fade-out scheme, or an overlapping scheme.
  • [0037]
    As a further option, the output module may output the extracted second thumbnail images by rolling the extracted second thumbnail images. And, if a user selects a direction key of or using an input device, the output module may change the position of the second thumbnail images to a position indicated by the selected direction key.
  • [0038]
    As a further option, the output module may number the extracted second thumbnail images in sequence and then output the second thumbnail images by representing sequence information on each of the second thumbnail images.
  • [0039]
    As a further option, the output module may output the second thumbnail images by representing time-shift time information on each second thumbnail image, or by representing time information (e.g., broadcast time information) on each of the second thumbnail images.
  • [0040]
    As a further option, if a user selects one of the first or second thumbnail images, control module 602 may play a section of the program that corresponds to the first or second thumbnail image that was selected.
  • [0041]
    Thus, in accordance with the foregoing embodiments, a method of operating a receiver, which records a program (e.g., a broadcast program) includes the steps of storing the program received by a prescribed tuner in a storage means, outputting first thumbnail images sequentially extracted from the program to a display screen, if one of the first thumbnail images is selected, extracting at least one or more second thumbnail images in a section between the selected first image and the first thumbnail image next to the selected thumbnail image from the stored program, and outputting the extracted at least one or more second thumbnail images.
  • [0042]
    In accordance with another embodiment, a receiver for recording a broadcast program includes a storage means to store the broadcast program received by a prescribed tuner, a control module to sequentially extract first thumbnail images from the broadcast program, output the extracted first thumbnail images to a display screen, to extract at least one or more second thumbnail images in a section between a selected first thumbnail image and a first thumbnail image next to the selected thumbnail image from the stored broadcast program if one of the first thumbnail images is selected, and an output module to output the extracted at least one or more second thumbnail images.
  • [0043]
    The foregoing embodiments may therefore be implemented to achieve one or more of the following effects or advantages.
  • [0044]
    First, one or more second-level thumbnail images may be extracted between two first-level thumbnail images, which, for example, may be adjacent first-level images. This technique provides the user with information concerning the kind of content that exists between the first-level thumbnail images. Also, the first-level images may be extracted from a broadcast program a predetermined time interval, thereby enhancing user's convenience. The time interval between second-level images may be the same or different, the time interval between the first-level images may also be the same or different.
  • [0045]
    Second, one or more second-level thumbnail images located between first thumbnail image sections may be output for display in various ways, thereby enabling a user to determine the content of the program more accurately.
  • [0046]
    Any reference to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” “example embodiment,” etc., means that a feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the invention. The appearances of such phrases in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Further, when a particular feature, structure, or characteristic is described in connection with any embodiment, it is submitted that it is within the purview of one skilled in the art to effect such feature, structure, or characteristic in connection with other ones of the embodiments.
  • [0047]
    Although embodiments of the present invention have been described with reference to a number of illustrative embodiments thereof, it should be understood that numerous other modifications and embodiments can be devised by those skilled in the art that will fall within the spirit and scope of the principles of this invention. More particularly, reasonable variations and modifications are possible in the component parts and/or arrangements of the subject combination arrangement within the scope of the foregoing disclosure, the drawings and the appended claims without departing from the spirit of the invention. In addition to variations and modifications in the component parts and/or arrangements, alternative uses will also be apparent to those skilled in the art.

Claims (23)

1. A method for managing media content, comprising:
storing a program received from a tuner in a storage device;
outputting a plurality of first thumbnail images to a display screen, the first thumbnail images sequentially extracted from the program;
when one of the first thumbnail images is selected, extracting one or more second thumbnail images in a section of the program between the selected first thumbnail image and another first thumbnail image; and
outputting the second thumbnail images to the display screen.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the other first thumbnail image is a first thumbnail image adjacent to the selected first thumbnail image.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein a plurality of second thumbnail images are extracted in the section of the program between the selected first thumbnail image and the other first thumbnail image.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein extracting the second thumbnail images includes one of switching the second thumbnail images in order, switching the second thumbnail images based on a fade-out scheme, or switching the second thumbnail images based on an overlapping scheme.
5. The method of claim 3, wherein extracting second thumbnail images includes switching the selected first thumbnail image to the second thumbnail images in order, using a fade-out scheme, or using an overlapping scheme.
6. The method of claim 3, wherein outputting the second thumbnail images includes rolling the extracted second thumbnail images to be displayed on the display screen.
7. The method of claim 6, wherein rolling the second thumbnail images includes changing positions of the second thumbnail images based on a signal received from a direction key.
8. The method of claim 3, wherein outputting the second thumbnail images includes:
numbering the second thumbnail images in sequence; and
outputting the second thumbnail images with sequence information on or relative to each of the second thumbnail images.
9. The method of claim 3, wherein outputting the second thumbnail images includes outputting the second thumbnail images with time-shift time information on or relative to each of the second thumbnail images.
10. The method of claim 3, wherein outputting the second thumbnail image includes outputting the second thumbnail images with broadcast time information on or relative to each of the second thumbnail images.
11. The method of claim 3, further comprising:
when a user selects one of the second thumbnail images, outputting a section of the program corresponding to the selected second thumbnail image to be played on the display screen.
12. A receiver, comprising:
a storage device to store a program received from a tuner;
a controller to extract first thumbnail images from the program, to control output of the first thumbnail images to a display screen, and to extract one or more second thumbnail images in a section of the program between a selected first thumbnail image and another first thumbnail image; and
an output module to output the one or more second thumbnail images to the display screen.
13. The receiver of claim 12, wherein the other first thumbnail image is a first thumbnail image adjacent to the selected first thumbnail image.
14. The receiver of claim 12, wherein the controller extracts the first thumbnail images from the program sequentially.
15. The receiver of claim 14, wherein the controller extracts a plurality of second thumbnail images from the section of the program between the selected first thumbnail image and the other first thumbnail image.
16. The receiver of claim 15, wherein the output module switches the second thumbnail images in order, switches the second thumbnail images by a fade-out scheme, or switches the second thumbnail images by an overlapping scheme.
17. The receiver of claim 15, wherein the output module switches the selected first thumbnail image to one or more of the second thumbnail images in order, by a fade-out scheme, or by an overlapping scheme.
18. The receiver of claim 15, wherein the output module outputs the extracted second thumbnail images by rolling the second thumbnail images.
19. The receiver of claim 15, wherein the output module changes positions of the second thumbnail images to correspond to selection of a direction key.
20. The receiver of claim 15, wherein the output module numbers the extracted second thumbnail images in sequence and then outputs the second thumbnail images with sequence information on or relative to each of the second thumbnail images.
21. The receiver of claim 14, wherein the output module outputs the second thumbnail images with time-shift time information on or relative to each of the second thumbnail images.
22. The receiver of claim 14, wherein the output module outputs the second thumbnail images with broadcast time information on or relative to each of the second thumbnail images.
23. The receiver of claim 15, wherein when a user selects one of the second thumbnail images, the controller controls output of a section of the program corresponding to the selected second thumbnail image to be played on the display screen.
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